Purpose: To demonstrate the value of 3.0T MR imaging for the detection of rotator cuff tendon tears and surgical planning by correlating imaging findings to surgical findings. Materials and methods. Prospective follow-up of patients who underwent 3.0T MR imaging of the shoulder in our department between November 2005 and June 2007. Surgical findings were correlated to imaging findings for 48 patients who underwent surgery: detection, size, partial thickness or complete, and tendon edges.
Results: In this patient group, the positive predictive value of MRI for detecting surgical tears was 100% (100% of complete tears and 92% of partial thickness tears). No change in surgical management was recorded when arthroscopy was performed based on MRI findings (size of tear).
Conclusion: 3.0 T MRI is valuable for the detection of small tears, especially for partial thickness tears due to increased spatial resolution. The identification of surgical candidates and surgical planning are improved due to more accurate measurements of tear size and quality of the tendon edges.